Dateline August 2005. A shocked US counts the cost of Hurricane Katrina, the fiercest tempest to hit their shores, with a death toll topping a thousand. Across the globe, at the same time, Iraq mourns the catastrophic death of one thousand people in a bizarre human stampede.
New Orleans and Baghdad
As fear, fueling anarchy, grips New Orleans, so it does Baghdad, capital of the cradle of civilization. What is the extraordinary connection between the most modern technological country on the planet to the one that gave birth to the wheel? The cynics would say oil—that which turns the wheel! But the more consequential may be the distant planet Uranus.
Since its discovery on March 13, 1781, when it was found opposite martial Mars, and authoritarian Saturn, Uranus remains the key component astrologically of anarchy, revolution and rebellion. The unruly planet's visible debut heralded a time of world insurrection ranging from the United States War of Independence to the French Revolution. (Editor's note: Transiting Pluto is opposing Uranus' discovery point and has been conjunct Saturn and Mars in the discovery chart.)
Today, with the national horoscope of Iraq experiencing its first Uranus return, insurgent uprisings, religious division, and suicide bombers have the country on the brink of their own civil war. There are stark similarities and lessons to be learned from the history of their invaders. America 's first Uranus return saw the country erupt into its worst ever conflict. The four-year Civil War claimed more fatalities (620,000) than any other battle the US has been involved in before or since.
Uranus on the Horizon
Like the USA, modern Iraq created at sunrise August 23 1921 in Baghdad, was born with the planet Uranus straddling the Descendant of their national horoscope. The Descendant(setting west on the ecliptic), outlines relationships, international friends and foes. The Uranus positions of the US and Iraq are also in a testing angle, being exactly square to each other. The square suggests a constantly evolving, tense and dynamic relationship. As this angle is so precise the two nations experience the Uranian energy simultaneously. Such was the case with the hurricane and the human stampede.
Examination of the Uranus cycle yields unique insights and a greater understanding of Iraq's contemporary history. Uranus' orbit of the Sun takes approximately 84 years, which can be subdivided into four quarters to produce definitive turning points approximately 21 years apart.
Applying this model would then take us from the formation date in 1921 to the war years of 1941/42. During this time the Iraqi royal family fled the country. Iraq declared war on Britain , and was defeated within a month. An interim pro-British government was formed and later replaced by a new national cabinet. Does this sound like shades of what we are witnessing now? Iraq became a vital supply depot to the Allies during the remaining war years. Meantime the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor ensured the US entry into World War Two.
On February 8, 1963, as Uranus reached the opposition point in its cycle, Iraqi leader General Kassim was overthrown by rebel officers from the Baath party and assassinated the following day. The Baathists gained control of Iraq, culminating with Saddam Hussein's eventual ascension to power. Just prior the US hovered on the brink of nuclear war with the USSR with the Cuban missile crisis, and their charismatic leader John F. Kennedy was assassinated later in the year.
At the three-quarter period of the Uranus cycle, November 1984, the United States suddenly resumed diplomatic relations with Iraq as that country began a massive military build up on the back of western credit and weaponry. Iraq was at war with neighboring Iran, and Middle-East oilfields were at risk. These were the Reagan Star Wars days, presiding over the biggest peacetime military build up in United States history on the back of ballistic missile defense.
Tower Struck By Lightning
Now in 2005, as Uranus returns to the place it occupied when Iraq was declared a kingdom, the US and its weaponry dominate the ancient desert landscape. The archetypal characteristic of Uranus is individual freedom from organized authority. Uranus changes the status quo by sudden and absolute upheaval. Its esoteric symbol is the tarot Tower Struck By Lightning. At its best, it's a prelude to higher awareness. Picture Baghdad with little defense against the real US star wars. Like the occupants of the Tower they are people unprepared, hurtled helplessly into the future. In such terror they turned on themselves.
Like the Civil War of 1861, old customs will die hard and technology growth will be the dominating and determinant factor in rebuilding Iraq. The Uranian connection will be maintained. But in the days that the central star of our solar system, (the Sun) came to oppose Uranus, the US also had little defense against the destructive fury of the terrifying natural disaster that was Hurricane Katrina. And so on both sides of the world civilians' lives are being rebuilt with little time or choice to reason. And in the turmoil of such sudden and shattering change, our prayers are with both.